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Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today

Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

The Fashion-

1990- Maternity fashion was ugly, but totally OK. It was almost expected to wear huge billowy, flowery dresses and giant blowsy tops paired with black maternity stirrup pants. If the bump showed, it was too tight, moms had to find bigger clothes. Bathing suits were like dresses, also ugly. On the weekends we sported overalls and jumpsuits. Also very très chic.

Today pregnant moms look so fashionable. Lululemon clothes are a staple, stretchy tops and knit dresses outlining the baby bump is everywhere. Bikinis and bare bellies are on every beach and pool deck.

Having a baby in 1990 vs. today.

Having a baby in 1990 vs. today.

Information- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- The 1984 book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting was on every coffee table of any pregnant woman in America with updated versions sold every year. A month to month guide on what the baby looked like, how mom should be feeling; new aches and pains and what was normal.

Today, internet blogs, Facebook groups and classes are how today’s modern mom learn every detail of what’s going on with them. There is a lot more information shared today than 20+ years ago.

Boy or Girl- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- The only way to know the gender of the baby was if moms had an amniocentesis. Typically a bad AFP (Alfa-Fetoprotein Test) indicating either Downs Syndrome or spinal bifida would prompt many to risk the scary test for diagnostic proof, which would also indicate the sex of the baby.

Today non-invasive prenatal baby gender test on maternal blood can detect the Y-chromosome. So at 10 weeks gestation and for $300, parents can have the test done and in a week they know if it’s a boy or girl.

Bring on the layer cakes and balloons!

Boston Newborn Care Course for Parents

Boston Newborn Care Course for Parents

Maternity Leave – Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- Everyone would get a note from the Dr. about 2 weeks before the due date that orders moms to leave work within in a few days. That’s it!! Moms would just abruptly leave. Although, everyone would expect it and all male bosses would be relieved since they would be so uncomfortable around pregnant moms and their bellies. Moms would be put on short-term disability, not losing any of their vacation days, sick days or maternity leave; meanwhile they were home decorating the baby’s room and, albeit, lumbering around, but still having a leisurely vacation close to home.

Nowadays there are restrictions with insurance plans and more so the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, (although was not implemented until 1998) FMLA was intended “to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families.” If eligible, employees could take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for pregnancy (among other things) and to care for a newborn child. So, no more unnecessary bogus doctors notes to leave for no reason.

Moms now work up until the day they deliver. NO more “free” days off. But, now dads get time off which didn’t exist before. Most dads just took vacation time.

Delivery- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- Moms would be permitted to go up to 3 weeks beyond the due date. I did with one of my kids and I was home for 5 weeks on short term disability. Awesome for me! Moms would have to pay extra to have a private room on the maternity floor. Only 1 hospital had all private rooms in my area. Moms would give birth in one room then move to the maternity floor, usually a few floors down.

Today- 1 week late is the limit. At the 39-week visit at the doctor, the plans will be made for an induction or scheduled C- section. Now, all hospitals have private rooms. Most moms also deliver in the room they will stay in for the 3 days if vaginal delivery or 5 if Caesarian section.

Baby Pictures- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

Boston Newborn Care Frequently Asked Questions

Boston Newborn Care Frequently Asked Questions

1990- The maternity photos were hideous. It was a mug shot for the file at the hospital. The fluorescent lighting in a small room with a camera on the ceiling made for a great shot. Parents did get the option of buying it, which for the most part, they did and they were all so ugly. Babes were in a hospital undershirt wrapped in a hospital blanket, goop in their eyes looking unrelated to anyone in their family, (or anyone’s family.)

Today, photographers are waiting for those that choose to have a photo session of the baby. The use of softer lighting, cute baby outfits, natural positions that are scheduled make for much better pics. Some with parents, some solo, all are precious. Not to mention that the IPhone cameras are better than anything moms of yesteryear had in their to-go bags.

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Rock your baby to sleep

Rock your baby to sleep have her sleep on your chest, feed her until she’s snoring; that’s fine. Go ahead; but just know you are signing up for this task for at least a year.

Babies like what they like. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle in someone’s cozy arms or be lulled to sleep whilst rocking back and forth to your dads humming?

I remember when I watched my first baby, around 28 years ago. A friend was going to her mother in-laws funeral. She left me with these instructions.

Rock your baby to sleep

  1. Sally will wake up at X time.
  2. Enter her room wearing my scarf, hanging on the outside doorknob.
  3. Do not turn on the lights.
  4. Be sure the bathroom door is open about 5 inches and the shower light is on. (That is enough light for you to see)
  5. Sit in the rocking chair to feed her but don’t move the position it is in.
  6. Be sure to turn on the mobile before you sit down.
  7. When she is done hold her upright for 17 minutes.
  8. Change her while singing somewhere over the rainbow.
  9. Stand on your head and spit jellybeans.

Ok, so the last direction was just me being sarcastic.

Of course I tried to follow all of these steps. And of course she cried the whole time because I probably opened the refrigerator or forgot to turn off the television.

I felt like what a new mom must feel like. I totally turned off my common sense. I didn’t do what seems natural because I had to follow the directions.

My friend came home to a screaming infant. This regime came about because it worked one time. The chair, the light, the noise and the smells suddenly settled her fussy daughter.

I totally get it. Rock your baby to sleep

PARENTS WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE IT STOP.

How else did the midnight car rides come about? Desperate parents will do what works. Outsiders will view these intricate steps as ridiculous, but new parents see it as perfectly normal behavior.

When my son was born my husband and I walked around OUR HOUSE with one shoe on. We had to scoot our foot under his bottom in the light-blue bucket chair and bounce it up and down. It became a mindless ritual; Tap-Tap-Tap, rocking him until he fell asleep.

It became the routine; it was our new normal because he stopped crying. It worked!

We did go through a few of those chairs, but it didn’t matter. That chair went everywhere with us. It became more important than my make-up

(whose kidding who here, make -up went out the door when I left work to go on maternity leave)

Eventually there is a break in the insanity. Common sense seeps in a little bit and the routines get much more manageable.

What’s your crazy story? We all have one.